“Generating more significant learning for students”

Dr. María Soledad Ramírez Montoya holds an undergraduate degree in Education (from the Escuela Normal of the State of Sonora), majored in Educational Sciences (from the Sonora’s Technological Institute), holds a master’s degree in Educational Technology and a Ph.D. in Educational Technology and Educational Psychology.

She is an associate researcher in the Center for Educational Research of the Virtual University of Tecnológico de Monterrey. She leads the Chair of Research in Technological and Educational Research and is a member of the National System of Researchers.

Her lines of research are as follows: Teaching and educational innovation (teaching-learning strategies, teacher education, teacher evaluation, evaluation of social capital) and Distance Learning (use of technologies in education, educational processes, teaching-learning strategies, educational innovation, collaborative networks, learning objects, mobile learning and open educational resources).

Besides, Dr. Ramírez has published the following books: "Calidad y efectividad en instituciones educativas"; "Objetos de Aprendizaje e Innovación Educativa", and " Educación e Investigación: Retos y Oportunidades", with publishing house Trillas.

At present, she is a professor at the Graduate School of Education in Tecnológico de Monterrey in the Master’s in Education, Master’s in Educational Technology and Master’s in Educational Management programs and in the Educational Innovation Doctoral program.

The tool from two perspectives

According to Dr. Ramírez , her educational experience using the resources has two perspectives: the teaching perspective and the research perspective.

From the teaching perspective, the open educational resources are used as a strategy to share with students the resources prepared by other teachers of great value and include them as course content. “With our current students, we are incorporating the use of the tool as a strategic element within the methodology in which they have to look for resources for their educational practice,” comments Dr. Ramírez.

From the research point of view, the tool is an incentive to do technological and educational research at all educational levels. Within the current context, research is done in basic education by means of the CUDI-CONACYT support. Dr. Ramírez said, “We are leading a project in preschool, elementary and secondary schools. The teachers in these educational levels are participating in the following ways: knowing the tool, searching in source sites for basic education, providing those source sites, documenting and evaluating the resources, integrating them in their learning settings, and registering their adoption. On the other hand, we are researching their educational practices aiming at reducing the digital gap.”

Generating more significant learning for students

The potential of , according to Dr. Ramírez, is huge; the courses have been enriched. A window has been opened for students’ internationalization. “We have the potential to include this international element as stated in the 2015 Institutional Mission Statement; but above all its potential lies on the learning that can be generated from the resources found there,” stated Dr. Ramírez.

One of the great benefits the tool has is the creation of learning communities and practice communities among teachers who can share with other colleagues the way to use the tool in educational settings. It gives ideas on how we can incorporate them in the programs and what should be developed. Dr. Ramírez said, “There are practice communities and learning communities that are born from the evaluations that teachers carry out, the integration of the adoptions they make for their courses and the contents proposed with the OER integration.”

A great tool, a great aid for the teacher

Dr. Ramírez knows it is important for the professor to know, learn, be trained and have full knowledge of the research done in regards to the benefit, potential and challenges involved in the strategy within a course.

“I would tell the teacher to access, experience, and experiment whatever the tool can have and that he relates it visualizing with his students and visualizing all the learning they could develop.” Dr. Ramírez concluded, “It is a great tool, a great aid for the teacher to use.”